Building Your Model Railroad Blog


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Building Your Model Railroad Blog

This is the official BYMRR Model Railroad Blog Page containing many excellent articles all about model railroading - train tutorials, modeling tips and techniques, layout scenery, wiring your railroad, automating your trains, building your layout benchwork, operating your trains and and links to model railroading supplies. Written by model railroad authorities on how to build a layout step-by-step.

To subscribe to this train blog, simply go to your favorite RSS reader and copy and paste this link into the proper feeder URL and you will immediately get all the updates on the newest model railroading tools, techniques and supplies...

Contributions to this blog are very much encouraged and will be accepted after approval by the moderator. You may include a reference to your own website if it is related to model railroading or railfanning.  Include photos whenever possible. You may also include train products that you would like to sell.

To sell products on this site, you must first go to the Classified Page and enter your information, product and price.

Please remember that all submissions to this blog must be in good taste (nothing vulgar or derogatory) and must be about trains, railroads, model railroads, railfanning, model structures, etc.  All other entries will not be permitted.

The mission and goal of this model railroad blog is to enable interaction among model railroaders everywhere, to share information about the hobby to all those who are interested and to promote model railroading as a fantastic, enjoyable, artistic craft that enhances comradery and brings people together.




New and Updated Pages:

Jun 04, 2023

Tracks June 2023


Model railroading newsletter with lots of tips and tricks to improve your skills and help you enjoy the hobby.

Continue reading "Tracks June 2023"

May 23, 2023


Advertise your model railroad products on this site. Learn more on this page.

Continue reading "Advertise"

May 22, 2023

Tracks - May 2023


Model railroading newsletter with lots of tips and tricks to improve your skills and help you enjoy the hobby.

Continue reading "Tracks - May 2023"

May 20, 2023

Florida East Coast Red (not rust) Ortner Cars - paint color?

FEC Ortner Car

Hi All - I'm modeling the Cemex South Florida quarry. I'm modeling the FEC ortner cars from the 1980's/90's. I'm building the cars myself and have gotten

Continue reading "Florida East Coast Red (not rust) Ortner Cars - paint color?"

May 20, 2023


I have a large collection of Marklin HO Trains of the era 1956 to 1980. I have two Hornby Dublo trains too. I was delighted to learn that you are an avid

Continue reading "Vartak"

Apr 02, 2023

Tracks - April 2023


Here is the April edition of Tracks, containing lots of information, tips and tricks for model railroaders of all ages and all gauges.

Continue reading "Tracks - April 2023"

Mar 26, 2023

Train Photos


Gallery of prototypical and/or model train photos and model railroad layout photos

Continue reading "Train Photos"

Mar 06, 2023

How to Handlay Model Railroad Track

If you're a model train enthusiast, you may be interested in learning how to handlay HO scale track. Handlaying track allows you to create a more realistic and customized layout than using pre-made track pieces. Here are some steps to get you started:

Gather your materials. You'll need HO scale track (ties, rails, and spikes), a track gauge, rail cutters, pliers, a soldering iron, flux, solder, a track template or plan, and a work surface.

Cut the ties. Lay out the ties in the correct spacing and cut them to the correct length using rail cutters.

Lay the rails. Using the track gauge, lay the rails on the ties in the correct position. Make sure the rails are straight and level.

Spike the rails. Using a small hammer and spikes, secure the rails to the ties. Be sure to space the spikes evenly along the rails.

Solder the rails. Apply flux to the joint where the rails meet and solder them together with a soldering iron. Be careful not to let the solder run onto the rails or ties.

Test the track. Once you've completed a section of track, test it with a locomotive and some rolling stock to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Repeat. Continue laying and soldering sections of track until you've completed your layout.The same instructions would also apply to any gauge. You would just have to use different-sized materials that would be appropriate for your gauge.

Handlaying track takes time and patience, but the result is a realistic and customized layout that you can be proud of. Don't be afraid to experiment with different track configurations and details to make your layout unique.

The following link provides purchasing options for the materials you need to handlay tracks and turnouts.

Continue reading "How to Handlay Model Railroad Track"

Mar 04, 2023

Tracks: February 2023


Model railroading newsletter with lots of tips and tricks to improve your skills and help you enjoy the hobby.

Continue reading "Tracks: February 2023"

Mar 02, 2023

Tracks March 2023

The official newsletter of Building Your Model Railroad with tips, tricks, videos and how-to information that you can apply to your own railroad modeling.

Continue reading "Tracks March 2023"

Feb 04, 2023

Mountainous Layout Without Grades

One way to create a mountainous layout without requiring steep grades is to lay your track flat on 4-inch risers. You could even have one mainline on the layout surface and a second mainline on the 4-inch risers. This would give you the opportunity to easily create bridges, cliffs, and river gorges. You could build mountains above the risers and valleys below.

Feb 03, 2023

Make a Pond for Your Model Railroad

Choose the right material: A popular choice for creating water effects is clear silicone rubber, which can be tinted with food coloring to create different water hues.

Prepare the surface: Clean the area where you want to place the water and apply a layer of white glue to create a smooth surface.

Tint the silicone: If desired, add food coloring to the silicone to create the desired water hue. You can also add a drop of blue or green food coloring to simulate depth.

Pour the silicone: Pour the silicone rubber onto the surface, using a palette knife or similar tool to spread it evenly.

Create surface texture: To add realism to the water, use a toothbrush or similar tool to create ripples and waves on the surface of the silicone.

Allow to cure: Allow the silicone to cure completely, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Finish the edge: Once the silicone has cured, use a hobby knife or similar tool to trim the edge to create a natural-looking shoreline.

Apply any final touches: For added realism, you can add foam to simulate whitecaps. Add rocks, tall grass, and other scenery elements to the shoreline.

Continue reading "Make a Pond for Your Model Railroad"

Jan 29, 2023

How to Install a DCC Decoder in an N Scale Locomotive

Installing a DCC decoder in an N Scale locomotive can open up a world of possibilities when it comes to customizing your model railway. With a Digital Command Control (DCC) decoder, you’ll be able to control the speed, direction, and lighting of your locomotives with precision accuracy. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how to install a DCC decoder in an N Scale locomotive.

Before you begin installing the decoder, it’s important to make sure that you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. You will need: an insulated Phillips-head screwdriver; tools for removing screws from the locomotive shell; needle nose pliers; soldering equipment including wire clippers and solder; flathead screwdrivers in various sizes; and Model Railroading DCC Decoder Installation instructions.

Once you have all the necessary tools and materials ready to go, the next step is to remove the body shell from your N Scale locomotive. This can typically be done by unscrewing four or five screws around the perimeter of the body shell. Once this is done, locate the motor as well as any existing wiring harnesses that are connected to it. Carefully disconnect any wires by using needle nose pliers to release them from their connectors.

Now that everything is disconnected, it’s time to install the DCC decoder into your N Scale locomotive. Begin by connecting one end of your new wiring harness into place on top of the motor. Then connect the other end of your new wiring harness onto your chosen DCC decoder - making sure all connections are secure before proceeding further.

Use soldering equipment to attach each wire from both ends of your wiring harness onto specific terminal points on each side of your DCC decoder - making sure that you refer back to Model Railroading DCC Decoder Installation instructions if needed for exact details on where each connection should go.

When everything has been connected properly and securely, use flathead screwdrivers in various sizes depending on which type of mounting option you wish to use when reattaching your body shell - ensuring that all screws are tightened securely before proceeding further with testing out how well everything works!

Finally, once everything is installed correctly and securely, refer back to Model Railroading DCC Decoder Installation instructions one last time so as to program any desired settings into memory such as speeds and lighting effects etc., in order for these settings now being programmed into memory actually take effect once powered up via track power later on!

With that said, installing a Digital Command Control (DCC)decoder in an N Scale locomotive can greatly expand upon what kind of customizations are now possible - allowing for maximum control over speed & direction along with lighting effects etc., offering many more possibilities when it comes customizing your locomotive operation.

Jan 04, 2023

Model Railroading as a Community Service

Improving the world, one community at a time.

Continue reading "Model Railroading as a Community Service"

Jan 01, 2023

Tracks: January 2023


2023 New Year's Edition of Tracks, a favorite newsletter for beginners and experts.

Continue reading "Tracks: January 2023"

Dec 24, 2022

Merry Christmas!!

To all who love Christmas and Trains and to all their families and friends, Merry Christmas, and may the Joy and the Spirit of the Season be upon you all, now and throughout the New Year!

Dec 22, 2022

Troubleshooting Your Model Railroad

Troubleshooting your model railroad is just as much a part of model railroading as building the train layout. There will always be something that needs fixing.

Continue reading "Troubleshooting Your Model Railroad"

Dec 22, 2022

Trains & Christmas

The tradition lives on...

Dec 11, 2022

New RSS Board for Model Railroading

If you like to use RSS feeds to keep up to date on all topics related to model railroading, here is a link to one that we set up...

Just copy this link into your favorite RSS reader and enjoy the updates.

Dec 11, 2022

Looking for MTH service or repair?

Check out the website at (Central Operating Lines Model Railroad Club)

Dec 11, 2022

Great Idea for Trains around the Christmas Tree!

Dec 09, 2022

Model Railroad in Winter - Part 2

Dec 09, 2022

Model Railroad in Winter

Dec 05, 2022

Model Railroading Questions and Answers


Answers to questions about model railroading submitted by our readers

Continue reading "Model Railroading Questions and Answers"

Dec 03, 2022

Tracks: December 2022


Tracks is a free model railroad newsletter containing lots of tips, tricks and techniques to help you in building your model railroad.

Continue reading "Tracks: December 2022"

Nov 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thanks to all the model railroaders and other visitors who make this site possible. Best wishes to all for a very happy and joyful Holiday Season!

Nov 13, 2022

Tracks: July-Aug 2021

Circuitron TL-1

Now a bimonthly newsletter for all those who enjoy the art and craft of model railroading with new tips, techniques and videos

Continue reading "Tracks: July-Aug 2021"

Nov 13, 2022

Tracks: April 2021


The April issue of Tracks is once again full of model railroading information, pictures and videos for all ages and all scales.

Continue reading "Tracks: April 2021"

Aug 22, 2022

Lionel Miscellaneous

I have miscellaneous Lionel trains and accessories that I would like to sell. You can view more photos at Please call or

Continue reading "Lionel Miscellaneous"

May 18, 2022

Relay Switch

Relay switch - What does it do and how do you wire it?

Continue reading "Relay Switch"

Mar 01, 2022

Tracks: March-April 2022


A model railroad newsletter published by Building Your Model Railroad containing lots of tips, tricks and short articles related to model railroading.

Continue reading "Tracks: March-April 2022"

Jan 14, 2022

MOW on Donner Pass

Jan 02, 2022

Tracks January - February 2022


Tracks is a model railroading newsletter full of tips and techniques to help you learn more about America's favorite hobby.

Continue reading "Tracks January - February 2022"

Dec 27, 2021

One of the Largest Model Railroads in the U.S.

Nov 05, 2021

Tracks November-December 2021

Christmas Train 4

This issue of Tracks celebrates November as Model Railroading Month and encourages all model railroaders to spread the word about the world's greatest hobby.

Continue reading "Tracks November-December 2021"

Oct 14, 2021

Railroad Networks of the World

Railroad Networks of the World

If you are looking for a prototypical railroad upon which to base your layout design, you may want to consider using a combination of two resources. The first is to locate the railroad network in which you are interested at There you can see the entire network of your railroad. After that, you can choose particular points along that network and find them on Google Earth so you can zoom in on specific hubs, yards, and surrounding buildings.

Continue reading "Railroad Networks of the World"

Oct 12, 2021

How to Make Water with Toilet Paper

Oct 02, 2021

How to Restore an Old Rusted Model Locomotive and Tender

Oct 01, 2021

Awesome Model Steam Locomotives!

Sep 24, 2021

How to Build an HO Module by Dave Frary

Sep 22, 2021

Model Railroad Track Planning for Interesting Scenery by DJ's Trains

Sep 20, 2021

Model Railroading at MIT

Sep 19, 2021

Jack Burgess on How to Photograph your Layout

Sep 18, 2021

Consisting with Digitrax and NCE by Larry Pucckett

Sep 17, 2021

Auto Train

Take a train ride and bring your car with you!

Sep 15, 2021

Southern Pacific Donner Pass Layout Tour

Sep 14, 2021

Interview with Steve Miller of the NMRX on WiFi Signals

Sep 13, 2021

Huge G Scale Layout in a Driveway!

Sep 09, 2021

Everard Junction Layout Tour

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Recent Articles

  1. Tracks June 2023

    Jun 04, 23 01:46 PM

    Model railroading newsletter with lots of tips and tricks to improve your skills and help you enjoy the hobby.

    Read More

  2. Advertise

    May 23, 23 03:40 AM

    Advertise your model railroad products on this site. Learn more on this page.

    Read More

  3. Tracks - May 2023

    May 22, 23 05:58 AM

    Model railroading newsletter with lots of tips and tricks to improve your skills and help you enjoy the hobby.

    Read More